MPIDR Working Paper

Objective sleep duration and health in elderly Russians

Shkolnikova, M. A., Aber, B., Weinstein, M., Kravtsova, L., Shalnova, S. A., Shkolnikov, V. M., Vaupel, J. W.

MPIDR Working Paper WP-2006-009, 20 pages (March 2006).
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research


Objectives - We examine the relationship between sleep duration and health in the high mortality context of Russia. Methods - Night and daytime sleep durations are based on self-reports and 24-hour heart rate trends (Holter monitoring). The sample of 201 individuals (Holter data for 185) is drawn from the Moscow Lipid Research Clinics cohort, followed up since 1975-77. Field-work occurred in 2002-03. Results - Although objective and reported mean sleep are similar, there are significant intra-individual differences. Significant associations are found between objective sleep and health: longer sleep corresponds to lower grip strength, poorer self-rated health and immediate recall, and higher mortality risk score. No significant relationships are found for subjective sleep. Conclusions - We provide the first evidence of an association between long sleep and worse health outcomes among elderly Russians. Predictive power increases if objective sleep measures are used, a consideration which is especially important in small studies.